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Suspicious Ads

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Joined: 01 Jan 1997
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2009 3:59 pm    Post subject: Suspicious Ads Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I posted this on Site Comments too.

I've had a couple of emails from users that remind me I should remind you about suspicious ads and responses. On a free internet classified site, individuals can post or respond to ads and it's not possible to track who they are from one moment to the next. They use free email sites and create blocks of email addresses and they have several methods of having a different IP address each time they visit. They can post and reply anonymously just like you can, with one advantage, their hidden location is likely in a country where even the logs of their access aren't traceable to our law enforcement bodies. These schemes are played out most likely thousands of times a day world-wide across all the free ad posting sites.

While there are many individuals providing us fraud reports so we can immediately delete these ads, you should be aware of what is suspicious. That is something you have to decide for yourself. You can learn about this on google, and if in the US, at the FBI's cyber crime resources, or at your country's law enforcement agency sites. I can give examples of how I look at it, but that will only be the tip of the iceberg for what you may encounter.

Here is a very incomplete list of examples which would make me suspicious. This is just my opinion.
1. Any sale where the person is out of the country where the item is supposed to be.
2. Any ad responder or seller claiming to be in the military overseas or saying something where I may feel sorry for them.
3. Online payments through any site that is not a highly reputable and well known escrow (the FBI discusses this)
4. Any buyer who wants the item now and wants to close the deal as quickly as you can email back. Often, the scam will follow in how that deal is closed.
5. Any ad responder who doesn't know a thing about what I'm selling. If they talk about "my item" or it's description looks like a cut and paste, I'm going to wonder.
6. Any seller who involves a third party in the money is suspicious to me.
7. Any seller who won't let a third party I choose, go and look at the machine. I have to ask if there is a machine in that case. Pictures aren't important to me.
8. A seller who tells me that the machine is sold but I can send money to be on a list or convince him to sell to me.
9. Anything where I would have to follow a link in an email.
10. Untraceable wire transfers.

I could go on and on. Anything that looks even slightly out of order is enough. The internet is too anonymous and it's up to the person I'm talking to, to make sure that the sale does not have any earmarks of a fraud.

For those who look over the ads. Anything that does not belong in the classifieds or photo ads, is already a fraudulent action on the sellers part. I don't do business with people who cheat, they may cheat me. It should just be reported. Anything priced too low we consider suspicious and if you've been researching the model, you may have a good idea of what is too low. Please just report it.

I understand that it means it's possible I will miss what seems like "the deal of a lifetime". But, in my opinion, there are none of those on the internet, or at least it's so unlikely that I have to look at it that way. Those great deals are still found as I drive by someone's farm or when a friend tells me they know someone who just wants to get rid of their tractor. Why would anyone go through the shipping process when their deal is so good that a call to a local dealer, would have it gone to someone who'd come and get it nearly as fast as they could come here and post the ad?

By the way, if you talk with a scammer and are suspicious. Post a feedback forum message to warn others. No names or email addresses are necessary because they aren't really the person anyway and tomorrow it will be a different email and name. The story is though and that can help others learn think twice about these Internet scams.
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Posts: 1953

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2009 5:24 am    Post subject: Re: Suspicious Ads Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I agree with all of the above except 9

Photobucket and image hosting sites should not be seen as funky or anything, its just easyer to direct someone to your online photo album, but if you are at this point with the buyer/seller you can usually tell if they are a fraud
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